Bedlam in Tripura assembly after Governor refuses customary speech

Agartala, Feb 17 (IANS) The opening day of the month-long budget session of the Tripura assembly on Friday witnessed unprecedented noisy scenes after the Governor refused to read the entire text of the written speech, drafted by the Left Front ministry.

The bedlam began when Governor Tathagata Roy told the members of the Tripura assembly that he would read only some portions of the 32-page budget speech.

Protesting the Governor’s assertion, opposition Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLAs backed by Congress legislators rushed to the speaker’s podium and shouted slogans calling the Governor “agent of RSS”, besides “go back governor”, “hai hai governor”.

Undeterred, the governor read out five/six pages of the 32-page speech before leaving the house within half an hour.

Later, TMC leader Sudip Roy Barman and Congress MLA Ratan Lal Nath separately told media persons that the Governor insulted the people of the state by not reading the full text of the customary speech.

“Roy did not read the entire text of the speech as in the speech there is criticism of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) -led government at the Centre,” Barman said.

Nath said: “By announcing that he would not read the entire text of the speech, the Governor breached the customary practice of the assembly.”

“The Governor has parroted the political line of the ruling CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) in his speech,” said Nath, former opposition leader (Congress) who recently held a meeting with the state BJP president Biplab Kumar Deb fuelling speculation about his joining the party.

He said: “We cannot really blame him as he is constitutionally bound to read out the speech drafted and approved by the state cabinet. Governor has no freedom of choice in this regard.”

The speech read out by the Governor, as expected, highlighted the success of the state government and expressed concern at the proliferation of communal tension and rising intolerance in different parts of the country.

“States now find no place to voice their concern and problems and seek relief from the central government,” said the Governor adding that funds meant for MGNREGA has been falling.

The speech read that demonetisation has paralysed financial transactions, as over 85 per cent of the currency in circulation has been rendered illegal in one stroke. “It has caused immense hardships to the common people. The peasantry and working class are the worst sufferers of this move.”